Published: 3:09 pm, Fri. Apr. 13th, 2018Updated: 3:09 pm
Just after noon Dec. 18, 2017, Eddy County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to investigate an arson committed at U.S. 285 and Pearson Road.
Upon further investigation, deputies learned at around 9 a.m. that day, Eddy County volunteer fire departments were dispatched to the area in reference to a structure fire. They found a 2,200-square-foot brick building ablaze and were able to extinguish the fire; everything inside, however, was destroyed.
A witness recalled seeing a white, two-door sedan leaving the area, after which he noticed smoke emanating from the building.
A stack of wood pallets inside the building was identified as the ignition point, and the building was designated a total loss at a cost of approximately $4,000 in damages.
The vehicle description was subsequently tied to an incident in Artesia that occurred that same morning, through which clear security footage of the vehicle was obtained. The license plate was visible, and a male subject with bandages on his hands was seen scratching the body of a work truck at Plains Welding Supply and slashing three of its tires.
The damage at Plains Welding was estimated at $2,823.37.
Deputies also learned a man driving the suspect vehicle and wearing clothes matching those seen in the security video had been taken into custody that day in Roswell. He had been spotted filling up gas cans at Circle K and was arrested on unrelated charges for crimes committed in Roswell.
On Dec. 19, deputies obtained a search warrant for the vehicle belonging to the suspect, identified as Clint Elmore, now 28, of Odessa, Texas. Inside, they found items consistent with arson.
Elmore was arrested on charges of negligent arson and criminal damage (over $1,000). He was bound over to district court this week.